Sunday, 20 July 2014

Quiet at Amwell

Paid a visit to Amwell this morning, the first for several weeks. Thankfully the heat has subsided somewhat, but it was still warm and humid, despite being overcast.
Its very quiet on the bird front now, lots of not very interesting moulting ducks-including the injured and presumed resident Wigeon. Most of the Black headed Gulls have fledged, and despite them it looks like the Common terns have had a good year. There are some Green and Common Sandpipers present, though I only managed to see two or three Commons, but there were no other waders apart from the numerous Lapwing. Tony said that a Snipe has been seen recently. but it's been some time since I heard about the redshank and Oystercatchers.
Walked down to Hollycross with William as I was targeting butterflies and dragonflies. The Tumbling Bay lilies held a few Red Eyes-no sign yet of any Small red Eyes. No Demoiselles on the river which seems to be normal, numbers have been very low this year. The meadow had the expected Meadow Browns, a few Ringlets and Gatekeepers, Small and Essex Skippers and a lot of very fresh Peacocks.
Dragonflies were all over the place. Mostly Common Blues and Blue Tails. Azure numbers seem a bit low. Larger species included two Emperors, one Brown Hawker and one Black Tail Skimmer. No sign of any Darters, though they are flying here, and no sign yet of any Emeralds. Evidence of the Water Vole were obvious from the boardwalk with most of the bulrush being eaten, leading William to suggest controlling the Water Vole population to preserve the very scarce rush. Probably wont go down well with HMWT.
Had hoped to see a few more species but I guess the cloudy conditions were not helping. Did get a Holly Blue on the way back which was nice as we failed to get any blues at Hollycross.

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